Sienna Miller by Mario Testino for Vogue UK, October 2015Here are a few speedy tips that can get you party-ready in minutes, the key being to have these items in your handbag, ready for use at any given moment.
Invest in a highlighting cream or powder to add light and a bit of glimmer. Apply to the apple of you cheek/cheekbones for an instant glow. It looks good high around the brow bone/under your brows and in the corners of your eyes - however stay away from crow's feet and creases, as it will highlight these too. I love MAC's strobe cream and would lover to try Charlotte Tilbury's Filmstar Bronze & Glow.
2. Refresh your hair
Invited to drinks or a party straight after work but your hair is a 'mare? If you're like me and get oily or lank hair if left unwashed for more than a day, you must carry a mini can of dry shampoo in your handbag. Rub it into fringe and roots to refresh your hair by soaking up excess oil and putting in some volume. I love Lee Stafford's little pink bottle and it smells like Thierry Mugler's Angel. I also love Batiste or Vo5 Refresh Me Quick Dry Shampoo. The tinted Batiste is great - just make sure you are careful with the brunette one, you can end up with a "sooty" looking forehead if you blast too much into your fringe.
3. Red lippie
A red lip is instant glam and can dress up an outfit. I'm a sucker for MAC's reds - Ruby Woo (very matte) or Russian Red a blue based mattes, Cockney (lustre/sheer) or Brave Red (cremesheen), which are both warm tomato-y, "yellow" based shades. For more great tips on wearing red lippie, check here. You can also use a smidge of lipstick blended into the apple of your cheeks for blusher if caught short.
4. Ugly feet saver
Grab a wee bottle of Sweet Almond Oil to keep at work, it is a lifesaver! Many times I've been caught short with no pedicure or nail colour but wanting to wear strappy shoes. Massage a bit of sweet almond oil into your feet to eradicate yucky dry patches and into your nails. The oil will give them an instant fresh shine. Also, keep your toe nails clipped regularly! Almond oil is also a fantastic moisturizer for dry patches, moisturizes and shines up dull legs, helps reduce dark circles under your eyes and is great for frizzy hair and split ends.
5. Smoky eye
Another instant glam up - the smoky eye. I carry around a soft black eyeliner which I can throw on a smudge for an instant smoky look. My fave is Benefit's Badgal liner, which is blackest of black and soft enough to smudge. A cat's eye flick is also a quick way to glam up your make-up to a more festive look.
A veil of your go-to night out fragrance will give you an instant pick me up. I love Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb and Thierry Mugler's Angel.
7. Tired eyes
Black circles and/or bags after a long day? Smooth on some serum and cover with a good under eye concealer like the legend that is Yves Saint Laurent's Touche Éclat, or try Benefit's brightening concealer Erase Paste or Fake Up, a double duty product which will also sooth and hydrate the area. Almond Oil also gets rid of puffiness and lightens dark circles, containing Vitamin K and antioxidants. Rub gently under the eyes each evening preferably. It will hydrate too. Always be very gentle with this delicate area - we don't want to encourage wrinkles by pulling the skin.
8. Caffeine & hydrate
Chug a coffee for a caffeine hit and follow by a big glass of water to perk yourself up for a big night out. Coffee is a diuretic, but it will give you an energy boost. Keep hydrated throughout the night, low hydration can cause not only fatigue, but nasty headaches - especially when you're drinking alcohol.
9. Nail it
If you do have a little window to do it, paint your nails! A bright blingy shade with glitter or sequins always puts me in the holiday season. OPI always seems to have great holiday shades.
This is a trick I used many years ago at the make-up counter in Harrods. Grab some eye glitter and pat it on top of an eye serum around the brow bone, or on lids for a sparkly party look. The serum acts as a "glue" and you can apply on top of your eyeliner or eye-shadow. I love Barry M Fine Glitter Dust.